The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Agartala: At a time when thousands are protesting against the Citizenship Act there are a few like Monga (name changed) and Bablu (name changed) who are happy and heaving a sigh of relief.

EastMojo travelled to remote villages of Tripura to bring you this story.

38-year-old Monga came to India 10 years back. He was forced to flee from his village in Baniachong under Habiganj district of Bangladesh. Monga did manage to build a house for his family of four but his children cannot go to school, nor can he avail other benefits or access services provided by the government or otherwise as he does not have valid documents. But now he is hopeful that things will change for the better.

“Since we don’t have any valid document my children cannot attend school. Once we get the document from the government our problems might be solved and we came live peacefully here,” Monga told EastMojo

His wife Champa (name changed) said, “we could not live (in Bangladesh) due to the torture by the Muslim people. If the papers are provided by the authorities then our days might get better, our lives will change”.

Interesting to note that Champa managed to obtain her Adhaar card and get her name in the Register of Ordinary Resident list managed by the Panchayati Raj department of Tripura government. She also managed to get PAN card for her son.

“We came from Ramnagar village in Feni district of Bangladesh after facing years of torture by our neighbours. We have been living here in Tripura for the last one decade and now that the Act has changed, maybe we will receive the support from the state government”, a hopeful Champa said.

Over the years, Tripura and Assam has seen influx of thousands of illegal immigrants from across the border. Tripura shares a 856 km border with Bangladesh.

Bablu, another Hindu Bangladeshi, crossed over to India in 2013. He and his family were living in Comilla district of Bangladesh and are now settled in Sepahijala district of Tripura.

“We were facing many problems since we were the minorities in Bangladesh. Now even if people here call us Bangladeshi that does not bother us since we are living peacefully here”, Bablu said.

“The government passed the Bill for the betterment of people like us. We are thankful to the government for this move”, an elated and relaxed looking Bablu said.

Post the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on December 11, violent protests were seen in different parts of Tripura. Clashes broke out between communities in different districts of the state. Different organisations called for bandhs as well.

Two columns of Army, troops of Assam Rifles, paramilitary forces were pressed into service to contain the flare up. Internet services were suspended to bring situation under control. Many families affected during the clashes are still living in government shelters.

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